More than 150 people stood in a line that wrapped around the side of the Hustler Hollywood building Saturday evening for the grand opening of the adult-themed retail store on Shaw Avenue.
Those hoping to meet Hustler magazine creator and self-proclaimed American icon Larry Flynt were disappointed, however.
Flynt canceled his appearance at the last minute, according to Spencer Dela Cruz, vice president of corporate development for Larry Flynt Productions. “He is very disappointed, but will make every attempt to make it here as soon as possible,” Dela Cruz said.
“That was half of the deal,” joked Andrew Drayer, who drove all the way from Atwater for the grand opening. Drayer said he was slightly disappointed that Flynt didn’t show up but was still looking forward to the rest of the event. “I know him from TV,” Drayer said, “but I know that’s part of being a busy man.”
Representatives from the Fresno Chamber of Commerce participated in the ribbon-cutting Saturday evening, presenting the store with a certificate.
The first 70 people through the doors were given gift bags. Customers played spin-the-wheel to win prizes like vibrators, lubricant, eyelashes and T-shirts.
Hustler model Melody Wylde made an appearance, autographing posters and posing for photos.
The Fresno store, located in the former Silver Dollar Hofbrau building, is the 23rd Hustler Hollywood retail store, according to a Flynt tweet.
The city of Fresno paid Hustler $15,000 in attorney fees earlier this year, after it tried to block Hustler from moving into the location by changing city code. Hustler sued, saying the city violated its First Amendment rights.